Daniel Pink: Author of The Power of Regret

Episode 402

Daniel Pink, serial NYT best selling Author, shares all about his latest book, The Power of Regret: How Looking Backward Moves Us Forward. In it, Dan shares findings on two studies on regret and debunks the myth of the “no regrets” philosophy of life. One big takeaway is that we have more regrets about the things we did not do than the things we did do. Both Dan and regret are great teachers. I think you will be glad you listened to this episode. Now on #TheKaraGoldinShow.

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Kara Goldin 0:00
I am unwilling to give up that I will start over from scratch as many times as it takes to get where I want to be I want to be, you just want to make sure you will get knocked down. But just make sure you don’t get knocked down knocked out. So your only choice should be go focus on what you can control control control. Hi, everyone and welcome to the Kara Goldin show. Join me each week for inspiring conversations with some of the world’s greatest leaders. We’ll talk with founders, entrepreneurs, CEOs, and really some of the most interesting people of our time. Can’t wait to get started. Let’s go. Let’s go. Hi, everyone, it’s Kara Goldin from the Kara Goldin show. And I am so excited to have my next guest. Here we have Daniel Pink, who you might recognize his name, you’ll definitely recognize some of his books. He is a serial New York Times best selling author, seven New York Times best selling books, including his latest called The Power of regret, how looking backward, moves us forward, he has written so many incredible books, as I was just sharing with him, I’ve been a huge fan of his for quite some time. One of the best ones that he really, really caught my attention with was A Whole New Mind. But I’ve also really read all of them drive to sell us human when all of them so very, very excited that we have him with us here today. So the power of regret how looking backward, moves us forward is such a great book for everybody to get their hands on. He really draws on fascinating research from two studies on regret. And I seriously can’t wait to hear more of what he found in these findings. But definitely, you have to get your hands on this book for sure. So, Dan, great to meet you finally, in person. And thanks so much for making time.

Daniel Pink 2:07
Kara, a pleasure being with you on your show.

Kara Goldin 2:10
Thanks for having me. Thank you so much. So you’ve written a lot of incredible books. Why did you decide? Thank you? Why did you decide to write on the topic of regret?

Daniel Pink 2:22
Because I have regrets. I mean, that was that was the That’s the short answer to the question. So the longer answer to the question is, I did have I, you know, I’m in my 50s. And I have regrets. And there was a moment when I, when my elder daughter graduated from college a few years ago, and and I came back thinking about my own college experience and what I read doing and not doing over that experience, and, and it really was sticking with me and I wanted to talk to somebody about it. And so I mentioned this, I decided to mention my regrets to a few people, knowing that nobody wanted to talk about regrets that this is a taboo topic that people don’t care about it that you want to avoid even the discussion of it. And when I brought it my own regrets up with other people, I discovered that everybody wanted to talk about regrets. Once I mentioned mine, it sort of unleashed it gave people permission and unleashed this, this waterfall of other people’s stories and regrets about their own experience. And then as a writer, when you have that kind of reaction from people, you know, you’re onto something. And so as you alluded to, in your intro, I looked at the about 60 years of academic research in the subject of regret. I did, as you mentioned, I did my own, basically a public opinion survey, the largest American, the largest public opinion survey of American attitudes about regret ever conducted. And then I also collected 1000s upon 10s, literally now 10s of 1000s of regrets from people around the world. And that so that multi year project took me inside of this profoundly misunderstood emotion.

Kara Goldin 4:09
So multiple questions that I have for you, but did your daughter does she want to hear about your regrets? Did she? I’m sorry. Actually,

Daniel Pink 4:20
I actually it’s an interesting question, Kara. I I don’t want to speak for that particular daughter, one of the one thing that I’ve noticed for my kids is that I don’t speak for them or a suit, you know, that said, as a general proposition, I find that my kids who are in their early 20s And most kids, but when I say kids, I mean progeny. So sons and daughters actually want to hear about their parents regrets. They don’t want to hear many things from their parents. Okay. You know, they often don’t want to hear unsolicited advice. They often don’t want to hear tales of triumph. But I have found and I think that other parents will verify this that if you tell your kids I’ve got, I just screwed something up. Let me tell you what happened. You got you got all yours. So tales of triumph and unsolicited advice. Usually not that welcome. Stories of your own mistakes and screw ups, I think you have a very receptive audience in general.

Kara Goldin 5:22
Yeah, no, as long as you don’t turn it into advice, I guess is is, is the key thing. So you and I are about the same age, I have four kids right around the same age. And I found that it’s, yeah, they do like to hear how you really screwed it up. But but as long as you don’t say, for example, I didn’t go to school outside of the US, and therefore you should.

Daniel Pink 5:46
Right, right, right. I think that’s actually a pretty important point in general. I mean, it’s, you know, one of the things that, you know, I mean, I think that you see it in part as a it as a marker, in the marketing side of your business. And I see it as a writer. And, you know, at some level, you know, a persuader is that the most effective forms of persuasion are when people reach the conclusion that you seek them to reach on their own. That is, they’re not being compliant with your dictates, therefore, you know, this very didactic explicit lesson, but basically just laying out the tail, and having them say, wow, like, Mom wishes she had studied outside of the United States. And that was like, a couple of decades ago. And wow, so maybe I should consider that. Yeah. So if you just leave off that letting people I think it’s true for readers, I think it’s true for consumers, I think it’s true for audiences, is giving them a little credit for reaching their own conclusion, and not necessarily always taking it to the finish line.

Kara Goldin 6:55
Yeah, no, I think that’s, that’s really critical. So your first regret you remember having?

Daniel Pink 7:02
Hmm, I don’t know. It’s a very good question. I actually don’t know. You know, it’s an interesting question in that.

You know, it takes a while before kids definitely hear me children develop the ability to experience regret. So most of us actually can’t do the mental process. Most human beings can’t do the mental process. And that underlies regret, which is pretty sophisticated. You’re traveling in time, and you’re negating experiences that really happen until they’re probably until about age eight. So I’m sure that my my regret basically involves doing something stupid that I knew I shouldn’t do. You know, that’s probably probably that’s probably what it was.

Kara Goldin 7:50
Yeah, it’s interesting. I was listening to your interview with Brene. Brown. And, and you were talking about sports. And I remember very clearly, I was a gymnast. And I also was a, I did a lot of track and field. And I remember opting out of different meats. And thinking afterwards, oh, gosh, I really should have done that one. And and, and so for me, sports was such a critical part of my youth, I guess it and so I think that that was really when I saw regret the most were something

Daniel Pink 8:32
super, super interesting, because, as I mentioned, I did this thing called the world regret survey where we collected regrets from all over the world, we now have a database of over 25,000 regrets from this point, like well over 100 countries. And there are a surprising number of sports related regrets and around the world. And they often sound very much like yours. And they’re often about not giving it your all, not taking the risk. They’re basically they basically fall into two categories, if I’m remembering them, right. One of them is is not working hard enough, like not exerting enough. There’s one guy who is in the book, who talks about how he didn’t devote himself enough to basketball because he was concerned that he wouldn’t be as good as his brothers. And by not exercising that devotion. He wasn’t as good as his brothers. So it did say that, so the maneuver didn’t didn’t exactly work for him. And then there are other ones about taking a risk and whether it’s entering track meets or swim meets or going to the next level. There’s a lot of that so they usually come down to anything. What’s interesting here is that with all these regrets, the surface domain of life is interesting. But so whether it’s in sports or careers, or or romance or whatever, but when you go underneath those regrets, you see other things going on, and I think the sports related regrets are essentially about tend to be about effort and conscientiousness, as well as risk taking.

Kara Goldin 10:06
So you went to college at Northwestern and you were a linguistics major. You’re okay. You’re an incredible storyteller. Incredible. I felt like this book actually connected a lot of dots between some of your other books that you you’ve done. But you went on to law school. And but didn’t practice law. I mean, that must have been a, a very bold decision on on, you know not to do that I’m, I’m married to a recovering lawyer. So when I told him that you never practiced, he said, he’s a much smarter guy than, than I am. So, but he, he went on to do some other things. But then you worked in politics, and became a political speech writer, I’d love to learn kind of what you learned from that. You worked for Al Gore. And but what did you learn about sort of being in politics? Did you? Were there any regrets there that you should have gone in a different direction?

Daniel Pink 11:13
Interesting question. So there are multiple questions there. So what did I learn in politics? And are there any regrets from having done that? I’ll take the second part first. I don’t have a lot of regrets from having worked in politics, I, at the time in my life. And again, one of the things that regret teaches us is that we are different people at different points in our life, we are not the same person at age 20, as we are at age at age 50. And we are not going to be the same people at age 80 As we are at age 50. And that’s that we there is a there’s a unity we are multiple selves, there’s I don’t want to go woo on your care. But there are, there are we have we have Moulton, there’s an interesting read how hershfield at UCLA has done some very interesting research on this, among others on this topic, there were multiple selves. And so yeah, there’s some unity with who I was at age 20. But I’m a different person than I am at a, you know, in my in my 50s. And I’ll be a different person in my 80s, to me that I am fortunate enough to live that long now. So at the tops of all that all of which is prelude to saying, given the person who I was, at that time, who was keenly interested in politics and thought, that’s what I wanted to do with my life. I don’t have any regrets about making that decision. Now. Once I got into the belly of the beast, alright, having done this for, you know, done that kind of work for a few years, working on campaigns, kind of in a pretty half assed way, becoming a speech writer, and then doing reasonably well as a speech writer. I realized as I got closer and closer and closer into this realm that I thought was what I wanted to do with my life, that I did not want to do that life. And, and I think if there is a lesson here, and here, I’m going to be more didactic, rather than letting your listeners reach their own conclusions. If there is a lesson there, I think is that you do have to listen to yourself. That is, there were some, you know, there were some sunk costs there. When I went into working in politics. So I devoted several years to it, I had progressed through the ranks reasonably quickly, I was doing well. And so in those kinds of settings, to have to realize, like, wait a second, this is not my thing. This is not what I want to do. I think you do have to really push against that a little bit to say, well, but I devoted all this time and I’m doing well. You have to really listen to that voice that’s telling you it’s not your it’s not your thing. So given the person who I was at the time. I don’t I don’t really have many regrets about, about that. The one regret that I have about having worked in politics is, is that I wish I had spoken up more. And there’s a tendency, I think it’s less is partly about politics, but it’s also partly about just working in organizations, that a lot of times we sit on what we really think that we are essentially picking our shots on like, and I think it’s okay sometimes but I think there are a lot of I wish I wish I was more outspoken. I wish I had spoken up more about things I didn’t like and, and I did speak up at times. But a lot of times I sat on it physically because it’s like, okay, whatever, I don’t want to have this fight. And I got a family to feed. And in retrospect, I regret not speaking up more often than I do. I listened

Kara Goldin 14:36
to a couple of your other interviews and I gathered that I bet it was so interesting to to kind of go through the American regret project in the world regret survey to and sort of see the comparisons of what people regretted. And it sounded like that was a key piece for many, many people.

Daniel Pink 14:59
Yeah, Well, it was you’re exactly right. I mean, literally like I mean, one of the interesting things again, because to go back to let’s, let’s go back to me as a linguistics major, which is sort of if you really think about language, and you use the language itself as a unit of analysis, that’s one of the things we could do when we collected 25,000 regrets is that we have this this, this database that has like, like, entries for 25,000 regrets from people all over the world. And so you can go into the database, and you can look at what language people are using. And there is there is a lot of language that accurate literally uses the phrase that I just did speak up, speaking up, spoken up, that ends up being a regret that people have, and, and like your track your track and field not going into certain meats. The underlying regret there. And I think here is where we have some insight into who we are as human beings, that it’s a regret is what I call it 100. Underneath it all is what it’s what I call a boldness regret, where you’re at a juncture in your life, and you can play it safe or you can take the chance playing it safe is not speaking up at that meeting, playing it safe is not going to that more competitive me taking the chance to speaking up, even though you’re gonna get a lot of people to disagree with you and entering that meat because even though you might not do very well. And what typically happens in greater proportions that I would have realized is that when people don’t take the chance, they end up regretting it that the people regret playing it safe much more than taking the chance that that was the degree of difference. That really blew my mind.

Kara Goldin 16:38
So the four core regrets, what do you want to talk a little bit about that?

Daniel Pink 16:43
Well, one of them one of them we’ve covered which is boulders regrets where if only I’d taken the chance. And again, we can add another one is what I call foundation regret, if only I’d done the work. These are regrets that people have about small decisions early in life that accumulate to bad consequences later than lucky later in life. I didn’t exercise or eat right for years and years, and now I’m profoundly out of shape or unhealthy. We have a lot about finance. I never saved money. I always spend too much and save too little and now I’m broke. So that’s foundation regrets, if only have done the work boldness regrets already, if only I’d taken the chance. There is one I mean, you know, from from the book, we have a huge number of people who regret not American college graduates regret not studying abroad. That’s a huge regret among American college graduates, again, should I stay here in, you know, in I don’t know, in Ann Arbor or Madison or Columbus, I’m a big 10 person, you know, should I stay here? Or should I go to Naples or Jakarta or Tokyo? Wow, that’s really far away. It seems like a risk. I don’t think I’m going to do it. I’m going to stay here in my little college town. And then people regret it. So that’s boulders regrets a lot of regrets also. I mean, I found it fascinating in this category, about people not asking people out on base, I got hundreds, hundreds around the world, people who regret Oh, I should have asked out friend or Marlene or whoever, however many years ago, you know, and it still bugs me that I didn’t do that. So moral regrets. It’s a third category. Again, it’s a juncture, you can do the right thing you can do the wrong thing. Most of us when we do the wrong thing we regret it. So in this category had a lot of regrets about bullying, a lot of regrets about cheating on spouses and partners. And then the final one is connection regrets which are about relationships, not only about not only romantic relationships at all, which actually surprisingly, stuff that we have a lot of the regrets on romantic relationships are basically marrying or spending time with a partner you knew was wrong. Those are the big romantic relationships. But in terms of regrets, but in terms of the relationships writ large, what we have is you have these relationships with friends or parents or children or whatever, that were intact. They come apart, they often drift apart rather than just explode. And then somebody wants to reach out but they don’t. And the drift widens and sometimes it’s too late. And so connection regrets are if only had reached out. So just to put a button on this here. Foundation regrets if only I’d done the work because we care about stability, boldness regrets, if only I’d taken the chance because we care about learning and growth and just doing things before we perish. Moral regrets if only I’d done the right thing because we care about goodness. And then connection regrets if only I’d reached out because we care about love. And and I think what what I’ve always found remarkable about this even when the first word regret survey results started coming in. So filling this database you know, the first 1000 of them was how similar these regrets were all over the world. That is when the regret is coming in. If you don’t look to see where it’s from, it’s very hard to predict If it’s very hard to predict whether it’s coming from leaving the fluidity of English aside for a moment, it’s very hard to predict it guess is this coming from? Asia? Is it coming from Europe? Is it coming from North America within within the US? You know, is this coming from Wisconsin? Or is this coming from Texas? Is this coming from Hawaii is it’s coming from New Hampshire? It’s difficult to tell

Kara Goldin 20:23
interesting. And what about age and, and gender?

Daniel Pink 20:28
Okay, so with age and gender now, for that one, I didn’t ask people’s ages in the world regret survey. And because the world regrets surveys is purely qualitative than anybody who wants to could submit a regret. It isn’t a random sample. So I can’t really make big demographic claims about that one. However, the other thing that I did this, this big public opinion survey of the US population, the American regret project that I can make, I think it’s a very good piece of survey research. I wish I had gotten more attention. But it’s a good piece of survey research. We surveyed over 4500 people, I think, an excellent set of questions. We had brilliant, gorgeous samples that we were were we were serving Americans, of all demographic groups, and I feel very good about it. And we did that so we could make exactly these very safe claims about differences in demographics on gender. Not that many. I mean, fewer than I expected. The big difference. And I don’t think it’s that interesting, or that it wasn’t even that big of a difference is that men tended to have more career regrets, and women tended to have more family regrets, I would guess, but. But that’s not even by men. That’s not even by a wide margin. Yeah. I mean, it wasn’t I mean, it was it was statistically significant. But it wasn’t like this massive difference, however, and I will answer, sort of burying the lede here. But there is there is a very important demographic difference that you mentioned, which is age here. This is the I did this very complicated, you know, expensive survey trying to get demographic differences. And the conclusion was, there weren’t that many. Except there was one that was just so ginormous. It also blew me away, and it had to do with age. And here’s what it was. In the architecture of regret. There are two kinds of regret, regret and forget about my categories about what people regret. This is just in the broader architecture of regret, you see this in the existing academic literature, you can have regret of action, or you can have a regret of inaction, you can regret what you did. I bullied a kid when I was in middle school. And even though I’m 45 years old, I still regret it. But you can ever regret a inaction. If only I had entered that track meet. If only I had asked out Mary to when I was in college. Okay, so things you did things you didn’t do. People in their 20s had roughly equal numbers of regrets of action and inaction. So basically, kids, people who are our kids age in their 20s, people have equal numbers of regrets of action and inaction. But as people age, the inaction regrets take over. And when you get to really pass the force into the 40s, and beyond, it’s not even close. It’s not even close. It’s like three to one regrets of inaction over action. What we regret over the long term is what we didn’t do rather than what we did. And I think that’s a really, really important finding.

Kara Goldin 23:38
Well, I’m also so curious to how that inaction might have affected someone else’s life. I mean, you touched on this in the earlier conversation around what people were sharing with you that they hadn’t done. And I felt like there was a little bit of, I should have helped, I should have said something in their rush. Or I should have done something because then if you actually see the fallout of that, and how that didn’t help in some way. So I’ll give you a very, very, very quick. Doesn’t seem like it’s that big of a deal. But Gary siroki handed me in second grade A chocolate heart. He ran up to me for Valentine’s Day and handed me a box of chocolates. I was so horrified. So so embarrassed, I you know, said nothing, and I ran away. And I didn’t take the box of chocolates. He sat there with it. I saw them when I was in college out at a bar and he told me that he could not ask somebody out for many, many years until college because of that. At instance, wow. Right? And I’ve thought about that. And my kids all know that story. My husband knows that story. In a million years did I think that that move? Again, I was a child. I mean, there’s all these things, but how you’re how that one little decision actually changed the course of somebody’s life?

Daniel Pink 25:24
Well, I mean, this is the stuff that great novels and great cinema are made of. I mean, now on that one, if you’ll if I can, if you’ll indulge me to unpack that a little bit, because I find it just a beautiful, glorious story. All right. First of all, you were seven? Yeah. So I don’t think I totally there’s a lot of this is not a regret that you have, have you. You remembered it. But you didn’t say, Oh, my God, I feel so bad that it didn’t take Gary’s box of chocolates. Right. Okay. Great. Because I don’t think that you I mean, again, people should have the whatever regrets they want. I don’t think that’s that healthy of regret. Because you were seven, I mean, you’re barely human beings. I think what’s interesting is the trauma that that caused Gary, and it seems like he could have, you know, he could have actually explained that away saying, this has nothing to do with my totally, you know, attractiveness as a partner. This has to do with the fact that the person I approached was seven. And also, you know, a box of chocolates is a little strong. First move. Yeah. Really strong. So, yeah. So, so, so that’s So what So, and then whatever, whatever happened to him did, he ended up like having like, finding, oh, I’m sure.

Kara Goldin 26:43
He felt he Gary did just fine. But he was, but I think it led me to think, and I’ve thought about this over the years, how, I mean, it’s sort of like the the sliding doors, right how you are put in charge, as a manager, as a partner, as a parent, you’re put in charge of something, you make the best possible decision, sometimes you have to make a quick decision about things. And I think that there are regrets along the way that are not just about you, but are about I should not have acted that way, I should not have done that. And especially a lot of

Daniel Pink 27:25
a lot of the moral regrets are like that, there are regrets about the again, we can, we can take a look at the category of more regrets and within that category, unpack them a little bit. And many of them are about harm to others. Now, what you’re talking about here, Kara is actually a very good quality and a human being that when we make decisions, as a parent, as a boss, as a community member, as a human being, that we take into account the consequences of our decisions, or indecisions on others. And so if we stop and are delivered are intentional, and just think about that, will probably make better decisions and will make more compassionate decision. And what you’re pointing out here, which I think is actually just an incredibly interesting kind of paradox is that, you know, sometimes in life, we think that everyone’s paying attention to us when no one gives a shit about what we’re doing. Okay. But other times, we think what we’re doing doesn’t matter. But it ends up really, like you’ve inflicted a narcissistic injury on seven year old Garrett. Totally. So you know, it’s so it’s so totally interesting. There’s there and you know, and so what did you conclude? What is one conclude from that? I think we can conclude from that, that there is a, I think that the former category is far more prevalent, that, that this is this is something I’ve learned myself as a human being as, as, as an adult. Earlier in my life, I actually, I think I care too much about what other people thought of me, until I came to the realization of what they thought of me. And when I discovered what they thought of me, which is that they weren’t thinking of themselves. So once you realize that it’s like this huge burden off of off of your shoulders. I think that’s more common, and no one is really paying that much attention to you. But I do think that there are moments these where what you do and you don’t realize it at the time, it has a profound effect on other people. Now, what’s interesting about that, is that there’s a there’s a happy side of that tale as well. There are times where I’ve mentioned to somebody that they said something to me 28 years ago, that really stuck with me. They have no recollection, right? It’s a positive thing. You know, this is like, apart from like, oh my god, you know, when you and I were having conversation once and you told me X, Y, or Z, and, and there’s like, oh, that sounds like something I would say but I don’t really remember that. I had a professional like that. I professor in college like that. Who you know, it gave me some, some fun feedback on a piece of writing that ended up being at the moment that it hit me as a 21 year old, just profound and in its own way, life changing. And he was just saying it. And when I finally told him that like, literally like 30 years, 25 years later, he was like, oh, no, I don’t remember having that course not. He doesn’t remember having that conversation. But I know I’ve said that to other people, too. I’m like, Oh, my God, I thought it was just me. You know, but I don’t remember. I don’t remember that conversation. But I do say that. And, you know, I think he was kind of taken aback that that piece of advice has ripple ripples through my life, even to this day.

Kara Goldin 30:39
I love it. So you say that the idea of no regrets doesn’t mean living with courage, but instead living without reflection? So I love this. Can you expand a little bit on that?

Daniel Pink 30:52
Well, I mean, you know, we have this thought that the at the core of this set of ideas is a re assessment of how we reckon with our regrets. And there is this prevailing view that regret is inherently bad for worse, that always brings us down that it can’t lift us up, that we should be positive all the time, never be negative, always look forward and never look back. And that’s often embodied in this idea of no regrets. So you ask people, do you have any right, I don’t have any regrets. Every, you know, I don’t look backward, I’m always positive. And it’s, and I understand where that’s coming from. But it’s a terrible recipe for living. It’s a terrible recipe for living. Now, so ignoring our regrets is a bad idea. But what’s also a bad idea is going too far the other direction, which is while we cannot have regrets ruminating and regrets, steeping in art regrets, that’s bad, too. What we shouldn’t be doing is confronting our regrets. Thinking about regrets using them as signal as information as data. And when we do that we have for you know, we have 50 years of research showing that it helps makes us better, it improves our performance on a whole range of things from negotiation, to strategic thinking, to a better decision making to avoiding cognitive biases to finding more meaning to solving problems faster and better. And so what we should be doing is not ignoring our regrets, no regrets, and not wallowing in our regrets. Oh, my God, it’s everything is terrible, but actually just thinking about our regrets confronting them, reflecting on them, drawing lessons from them, and using those lessons to apply to our future behavior.

Kara Goldin 32:30
I love that. So advice to others on digging into their regrets. Let’s say that they’re those people that you just described that are like, everything’s perfect. I don’t have any regrets. I mean, you know, how do you how do you shape up and and really start to kind of look at what you can learn from the past, I guess?

Daniel Pink 32:51
Well, I mean, I think that part of it is just, you know, in those particular circumstances, I think in the conversation, I think it’s worth taking a second bite at the apple because, you know, so in the we’re in the, in the quantitative survey that we did the American regret project, we asked the question about regret without using the word. So the question was phrased like this, how often do you look back on your life and wish you had done things differently? So we describe regret, but we didn’t use the R word. And we had something like 83% of people saying that they do it at least occasionally, only 1% of people saying they never did it. So two part of it is, is, is the is the stigmatizing regret, and even talking about decisions, like Do you ever wish you had done things differently or done things in a different way? Almost everybody hasn’t. But that’s, that’s a regret. So we even had people who in the world regret survey, the one was, is this giant database of regrets we had people who would submit it, first of all, they’re coming to the world regret server, right? They submit something they say, I don’t have any regrets. I don’t believe in regrets. But when I was 15, I bullied a kid and I still feel bad about it. You know, like, okay, you know, so so. So, you know, one of the things that one of the things I think is important to have a conversation about is that regret is one of the most common emotions that human beings have. It is arguably the most common negative emotion that human beings have. We have some research on that in social psychology showing that that you know in day to day life regret is is is one of the most common emotions that human beings experience. What’s more, is that we also have again if we triangulate among these different disciplines if you go to developmental psychology we know that in developmental psychology there are people that even in neuroscience we know that there are people who actually don’t have a right so little kids as we were talking about before don’t have regrets. Find girls don’t have regrets. Why because right it’s really hard. Regret as regret as regret is really hard. Regret is, you know, as I was saying earlier, you have to get into a time machine you have to go backward in time to you know, it Let’s say you had to regret about Gary, right? You have to go back in time and negate what really happened. So seven year old says, yes, thank you so much, Gary, Happy Valentine’s Day to you. I gratefully accept these chocolates. All right. So you negate what really happened, then you get back in your time machine, to today to the president, where the President is now different because Gary is President of the United States because his life has been transformed from that act of kindness that you imparted on him. In the imaginary world of the pet. It’s very complicated. Five year olds can’t experience regret. People with certain kinds of neurodegenerative diseases don’t experience regret, sociopaths don’t experience the regret, but everybody else does. So I think one of the I think one of the things we need to do is just normalize regret. It is a it is heart of what it is to be a human being. Everybody has regret. It is utterly normal. And if we treat it right, it’s not only a normal emotion, it’s a transformative emotion.

Kara Goldin 35:52
Daniel Pink, thank you so much. The book is called The Power of regret. And we’ll have all the info in the show notes. Such a pleasure.

Daniel Pink 36:02
I enjoyed it, Kara. Thanks for having me. Thank

Kara Goldin 36:04
you. Thanks again for listening to the Kara Goldin show. If you would, please give us a review. And feel free to share this podcast with others who would benefit and of course, feel free to subscribe so you don’t miss a single episode of our podcast. Just a reminder that I can be found on all platforms at Kara Goldin. And if you want to hear more about my journey, I hope you will have a listen. Or pick up a copy of my book on daunted which I share my journey, including founding and building hint. We are here every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. And thanks everyone for listening. Have a great rest of the week, and 2023 and goodbye for now. Before we sign off, I want to talk to you about fear. People like to talk about fearless leaders. But achieving big goals isn’t about fearlessness. Successful leaders recognize their fears and decide to deal with them head on in order to move forward. This is where my new book undaunted comes in. This book is designed for anyone who wants to succeed in the face of fear, overcome doubts and live a little undaunted. Order your copy today at undaunted, the book.com and learn how to look your doubts and doubters in the eye and achieve your dreams. For a limited time. You’ll also receive a free case of hint water. Do you have a question for me or want to nominate an innovator to spotlight send me a tweet at Kara Goldin and let me know. And if you liked what you heard, please leave me a review on Apple podcasts. You can also follow along with me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn at Kara Goldin. Thanks for listening